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Microsoft broadens Surface Pro 3 lineup with cheaper Core i7 option

By Shawn Knight
Jun 29, 2015
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  1. microsoft core surface pro intel core i7 surface 3

    Microsoft over the weekend introduced a new Surface Pro 3 model. It’s powered by the same Intel Core i7 CPU as the other two machines in the lineup but checks in with less onboard storage, resulting in substantial savings at checkout.

    Priced at $1,299, the new Surface Pro 3 features an Intel Core i7-4650U chip operating at 1.7GHz (Boost up to 3.3GHz) alongside 8GB of RAM and Intel HD 5000 graphics. In terms of storage, the system comes with just 128GB of solid state storage. Up to this point, the cheapest Surface 3 Pro with an i7 would set you back $1,549 (although you do get double the space at 256GB).

    Adding a model with less storage capacity makes a lot of sense for Microsoft. The truth is, many people now rely on streaming services and cloud storage providers, effectively lessening the need for large amounts of local storage.

    At $1,299, the entry-level Core i7 system is priced the same as the high-end Core i5 Surface Pro 3. That system comes with a Core i5-4300U clocked at 1.9GHz (Boost up to 2.9GHz), 8GB of RAM, Intel HD 4400 graphics and a 256GB solid state drive.

    It’s clear that Microsoft is marketing the newest addition to power users. Perhaps the only thing missing now is a Surface with more RAM. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 16GB would be nice but I digress.

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  2. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,212   +174

    I found myself in an electronics store this weekend, and in front of the Microsoft Surface display. I spent a few minutes poking and prodding. My take-away was that they're really nice computers. If I didn't already receive a $2K ultrabook from work, I might have taken one home.
     
  3. Win7Dev

    Win7Dev TS Evangelist Posts: 560   +172

    I still wouldn't pay $1300 for a tablet with relatively poor performance compared to a $900 laptop.
     
  4. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,551   +852

    A 900 laptop without the screen to draw on and half the battery life. that alone makes it worth it to me. But it does have a smaller base audience.
     
  5. Priced at $1,299 it is not a cheaper option, but a less expensive one.
     
  6. Amy Grant

    Amy Grant TS Rookie

    SSD cost is still too high considering what's going on in the rest of the SSD marketplace. Give me 256GB SSD space for the lower price then it would be news instead of a yawn.
     
    Arris likes this.
  7. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,506   +498

    I would take that i7 over the i5 any day, even at half the storage, you will never have so many things that can't carry on an external drive, or have on the cloud.
     
  8. IAMTHESTIG

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 954   +273

    I wish they had done that from the beginning. I didn't get the i7 because with the 256 GB SSD it was out of my price range. The i5 is still pretty fast but I am disappointed now that the i7 can be had for nearly the same price as the unit I got. Grrr
     
  9. The i7's experienced heavy throttling due to heat and had a price tag not proportional to the speed increase over the i5. This product is designed to sell all the leftover unsold i7's and convert it into cash for Microsoft.
     
  10. hkhan1989

    hkhan1989 TS Rookie

    I5 or i7, makes no difference.

    No I'm not crazy, due to the heavy throttling on these "tablets" they all perform like their i3 variant. All you're really paying for is the form factor, RAM and storage, any heavy tasking that would require the use of an i5 / i7, the CPU get's throttled to the extent that it becomes unusable, honestly, I wished I had gotten the i3 one, but needed more storage.

    Looking around, nearly all ultrabooks suffer from "throttling", however because of the design of the Surface Pro 3, it does it the most. Turboboost on my Surface has never "BOOSTED" but always lowered it's performance.
     
    cliffordcooley and SNGX1275 like this.
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,714   +397

    Thats exactly what I was thinking. What can you possibly do that an i5 (maybe an i3 as well) can't do 'as fast', I mean that as in how much can you possibly do where the difference between an i5 and an i7 is worth the extra money? By the time you get into the realm where the i7 is meaningfully faster you are going to have it be throttled due to heat.

    I haven't used these, so maybe there is a real world difference. Anyone with experience on a few different processor models have some comments on real world usage?
     
  12. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,506   +498

    I'm thinking in heavy users, who love the mobility of a tablet, and in their homes they have a dock to use it as a desktop, multimedia editting, coding, you name it.
     
  13. sadman3

    sadman3 TS Enthusiast Posts: 126

    Its still s lot pricey and I wouldnt pay that much for it. There are cheap laptops with i7 processor that are almost half the price. why pay more for the same service.
     
  14. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,506   +498

    You said it yourself, i7 laptops, not lightweight small i7 tablet.
     
  15. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,714   +397

    That doesn't address my question/point... You try to do anything heavy with it and it will heat up and throttle itself to slow speeds, making the fast processor not any better than a desktop i3/5.
     
  16. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,506   +498

    Might be, but if you are constantly on the go, want something lightweight, a desktop i5 is extremely good to have in such a small form.
     
  17. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,714   +397

    Thats fine, but if you are doing something that makes it throttle down. Just get the i3/5 version and lose a few seconds and save a few hundred.
     

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